How One Man Went From Playing Guitar in Nirvana to the Army Special Forces [VIDEO]

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You’ve probably heard the story of Jason Everman, the musician who played for two extremely well-known bands, but ultimately ended up having an accomplished military career. If you haven’t heard the story, you’ve probably at least seen various meme floating around social media that praise his accolades that show how much of a badass he was.

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However, Everman’s life path was far more than could be put into a single meme (as accurate as it may be). Born on a remote Alaskan island after his parents moved to Alaska to get back to nature, he had a distinctive upbringing. As Everman says “My birth certificate says Kodiak, but I’m pretty sure it was Ouzinkie, where my parents lived in a two-room cabin with a pet ocelot named Kia.”

Punk rock soon became the soundtrack of his life as a young man. So much so that he ended up chasing that dream to the pinnacle of the music industry. His unique musical career led him to two iconic bands – Nirvana and Sound Garden, yet he parted ways with both bands before their biggest hits turned them into superstars.

Following his time with the two power groups, Everman continued playing and made his living as a working musician, yet he no longer got the same level of enjoyment out of making music. Enter the military.

A filmmaker friend who had served as a SEAL in the United States Navy said his time serving the country was the thing he was most fulfilling work he’d ever done. The budding rock star called it quits on his music career and, in 1994, enlisted in the Army at the age of 27.

“At that point in time, in the world I was in, going into the military was probably the most uncool thing you could ever do. As soon as I raised my right hand and took that oath of enlistment whatever cool creds I had were f*cking gone,” Everman says.

The Army was the home he’d always hoped to find. Everman excelled in training as a soldier, joining the 2nd Ranger Battalion and then earning his coveted Green Beret with the 3rd Special Forces Group. All told, Everman served 12 years in the Army with multiple combat tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

He rose to the rank of Sergeant First Class before being honorably discharged in 2006.

Following his service, Everman continued his non-traditional life course. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 2013. According to a Daily Beast article from 2014, Everman still regularly goes overseas as a military consultant.